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Brutus' Motivation In Julius Caesar Essay

1087 words - 5 pages

Brutus’s Motivation in Julius Caesar

Although it can lead to dangerous and sometimes unwanted consequences, inward reflection when dealing with moral choices is extremely important. Acting on insufficient information or, even worse, conforming to the views of another person for popular support is an improper way to make a moral decision. When this decision is regarding someone’s life, it is of the utmost importance that it be thought out carefully and examined intricately. In Shakespeare’s tragedy Julius Caesar, Brutus is cleverly tricked into joining the conspirators in a plot to assassinate Caesar. However, he rationalizes his position by telling himself it’s for the good of ...view middle of the document...

When the conspirators arrange a meeting with Brutus to establish a plan of action against Caesar, they begin to swear to an oath of loyalty to each other. Brutus stops this, and refutes their intentions. “ ‘If not the face of men, / The sufferance of souls, the time’s abuse¬— / If these be motives weak, then break off betimes / And every man hence to his idle bed’ ” (II.i.125-128). Brutus tells them all of the important reasons for killing Caesar are ones that they do not understand. He proceeds as if he is the only one who understands the underlying motives for assassination, and tells them that they are doing it for all the wrong reasons. Thus, Brutus is the only honorable man in the gathering who cares about Rome more than the life of a soon-to-be dictator.
After Brutus, Cassius, and the conspirators assassinate Caesar, they confess to the public what they have done. For Brutus, his intention was honorable. “ ‘If then that friend / Demand why Brutus rose against Caesar, this is my / answer: not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved / Rome more” (III.ii.21-24). This is the crux of Brutus’s line of reasoning, and one that demands respect from any angle of the argument. Cassius and the conspirators are clever tricksters, and their motivations reflect their purpose in the play. They are with Brutus, and simultaneously against him. However, they are not the only enemy to Brutus. Marc Antony and his supporters seek to gain popularity by saying that Brutus murdered Caesar for his own greedy intentions.
To fully understand Brutus’s motivations, one must recognize the opposing side to the issue. Immediately following Brutus’s defense of his actions, Antony steps up to deliver what he feels happened. He says that Brutus killed a great figure and an outstanding leader that would have led Rome to a new Age. He justifies his position by using sarcasm to bring the people of Rome to his side. “ ‘Yet Brutus said he was ambitious, / And Brutus is an honorable man…I speak not to...

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